In the mid 18th Century, one of the most important and, at the same time, least well-known events in history unfolded. It was known as the People’s Court Case, a legal battle that stretched out over several years and concluded with the establishment of the first institution whose governors were elected by the people, in Santa Cruz de La Palma (Canary Islands). It happened sixteen years before the French Revolution.
The movement that brought about the downfall of the regidores perpetuos (hereditary aldermen, a post that was passed down from father to son) was led by the Irish merchant Dennis O’Daly who, with the help of local lawyer Anselmo Pérez de Brito, achieved an historic feat, about which so little is known. From a small island in the Atlantic, a chapter was written that changed the course of history forever.